Thursday, March 29, 2012

Who's going to BEA?

It's poll time, people.

I've gone the last two years and have had a blast!

Finances are not what they once were so this year has not been decided.

Who's going?

If so, are you rooming with anyone?

Are you attending the Blogger's Conference?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Faith by Jennifer Haigh

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Harper
Format: Unabridged Audio
Source: Library

Purchase: IndieBound

Once again, I continue on an awesome audio roll. This book I have seen reviewed many times around the blogosphere. I've only read good things. For some reason, I held off on it because I didn't think I would want to read a story about a priest as an alleged child molester. Not usually my cup of tea. But I gave in and am glad I did.

The narrator did an excellent job in portraying the multitude of characters in this novel. Each had their own heaviness, history and spirit, I was astounded that the narrator could jump so easily and gracefully between them all. Each character's story had its own power and she brought them all to life as if there were ten different people doing the recording.

Now that I have established some audio rules, I would say this passed quite splendidly. The story took place in and around Boston and for those of you new to my blog, I used to live there many years ago. I will always have a soft spot for Beantown; the accents, the drinking, the sites, the politics, everything about it, I loved. These characters are perfect examples of what makes Boston so unique. You have the hardworking single mother, the guilty priest, the proud former cop, the prodigal daughter. I loved them all.

Goodreads description:
When Sheila McGann sets out to redeem her disgraced brother, a once-beloved Catholic priest in suburban Boston, her quest will force her to confront cataclysmic truths about her fractured Irish-American family, her beliefs, and, ultimately, herself. Award-winning author Jennifer Haigh follows her critically acclaimed novels Mrs. Kimble and The Condition with a captivating, vividly rendered portrait of fraying family ties, and the trials of belief and devotion, in Faith.

This is my first taste of Jennifer Haigh. I've been curious about her other novels. If they are as good as this one, I'm all over it. The way she captured the feel of a community was flawless. I enjoy when an author can make the setting of a book just as strong of a character as its humans.

Rating: Recommend
Because the narrator was so strong, this book was brought to such life that I am glad I chose to listen to it rather than read. It was such a strong human story filled with characters that move you. For fans of familial dramas, this is for you.

Author Website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, March 23, 2012

Widow's Might Book Trailer Contest!

Widow's Might Book Trailer Contest!

Marissa from JKS Communications shared this fabulous contest with me to share with all of you. These details are from the website.

If you haven't heard of Sandra Brannan, you must check her out. Widow's Might is the third mystery/thriller in her Liv Bergen series.(I am SO excited for my copy!) And she is a delightfully wonderful person to boot!

Author Sandra Brannan is getting ready to release, Widow’s Might, the third book in The Liv Bergen Mystery Series, and she needs your help in creating a book trailer!

Interested? Here’s how to enter:

1. with your name, address and contact info. Be sure to enter ”Widow’s Might Book Trailer Contest” in the subject line. Deadline to enter is April 10, 2012.

2. All entrants will be sent one advance reader’s copy so contestants can get brainstorming and have time to create a 30-60 second book trailer for Widow’s Might.

3. Book trailers must be submitted to Sami@JKSCommunications.comby June 15th, 2012. Sandra Brannan will pick her top 5, which we will feature on The New Book Network for fans to vote on their favorite.

4. The five finalists will receive the entire Liv Bergen Series (In the Belly of Jonah, Lot’s Return to Sodom and Widow’s Might) signed by author Sandra Brannan. One grand prize winner will be announced onJuly 1st, 2012 and treated to a round trip airline ticket and one over-night stay in downtown Rapid City, SD for the book launch at Mitzi’s Books on Main Street Square on August 11th where the winning trailer will be featured!

I would love for one of my readers to win this wonderful contest. You could get the opportunity to meet Sandra and see what a wonderful lady she really is!

Good Luck to everyone!

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Crown
Format: ARC
Source: Bookstore

Challenge: A-Z Mystery Author Challenge
Purchase: Indie Bound (due out June 2012)

I can not tell you how many emotions I went through while reading this book. Talk about psychological thriller. Holy cats! This book was right up my alley. I've had this author on my radar for years now, ever since I picked up a used copy of her first book, Sharp Objects.

Still haven't read that one, of course. I snagged this ARC at work while on break and thought I'd give it a go. It is quite marvelously put together. How intricate of a plot she has created. I find myself getting a very quick opinion of a character from early on in most stories. This one, however, I thought I knew them, but they changed so many times, I did not know what was real and what was not.

Check out this synopsis from Goodreads:
"'What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?'"

Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what did really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? And what was left in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war...

In the beginning, you get the feeling that they are a happy couple or atleast trying to make a good go of it. But then as the back and forth in time chapters roll out, you get a much different picture of both of them. I honestly did not care for either one of them and thought they were just extremely dysfunctional people who can not communicate with each other at all.

Then Amy "disappears" and this whole other side to the story comes up and you are falling fast down a hill full of lies, manipulation and just plain ol' immaturity and self absorption. Like I said previously, I did not really like these characters but they had a train wreck of a story that I could not stop reading. Each chapter will surprise you and the ending will leave you with a resounding, "WTF?"

All in all, impressive read from Gillian Flynn. I will have to get to her first thriller sooner than later.

Rating: Recommend
This is not a wam, bam simple cut and dry case. No. It is a full on psychological thriller you might see on a 20/20 episode. You never know who the good OR the bad guys are. You can't stop reading though and wanting to know how the heck it's going to end. Kudos to Gillian Flynn for creating this dare I say, "edge of your seat" thriller.
Check out her website too. She has a pretty impressive resume!

Author Website:

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Modern Library Top 100

Oh, Modern Library...

Let me just start by saying, I know that I am a well read person.
I know that I am open to any and all literature and feel comfortable recommending to readers of all types. I am educated. I know my shit...I mean, stuff.

Then why does this bloody Modern Library Top 100 List
hang over me like
a giant fricking boulder?

No, I don't have an English degree.
No, I didn't graduate from college.

And because my high school English classes were taught by the football coach, we only read The Scarlet Letter. (I'm pretty sure it was only because he didn't want us to be having sex and that was the way he could lecture us all about it).
But I am good enough and smart enough and darnit, people do like me.

And I am going to conquer you once and for all persnickety
You-are-nothing-if-you-have-not-read-this list, you.

How many? I don't know. But some will be read this year, by golly.

Because seriously, 9 books read total? That is just lame sauce.

The Board's List The Reader's List
(4 read) (5 read)

Anyone with me?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, March 9, 2012

Oh Audio Books some of you have failed me!

This year I have jumped into the world of "listening" to books as well as reading them. This adventure into audio books has been quite lovely however, I have stumbled on a few clunkers. I decided at the beginning of this year to not do reviews for everything and anything I read or listen to. I wanted to be a bit more selective and just post what I wanted whether I felt it should be recommended or not.
I do want to share with you all my thoughts on some audio books I did not finish and to get your feedback on what you all look for when you pick a book to listen to.

I have listened now to almost five audio books now in their entirety and I am starting to get what works and what doesn't...for me. The number one thing I feel strongly about is the narrator. They have to be believable. I have to feel that they are indeed the character they are reading about and portraying. Second, I think I just have to stick to fiction. Non-fiction feels like I am listening to NPR for ten hours. Interesting yes but not as captivating as the ups and downs of a fictional tale. This could change, however. I am still a newbie in the world of audio books. Third, I think I have a disc limit, meaning I don't have the attention span to listen to anything over ten or eleven discs. So many rules, I know! But really, I am only listening to them in my car and it is taking me about a week and a half to get through a 10 disc book, maybe two weeks. I looked into listening to The Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin. It's almost 28 discs. Good lord! No thank you!

With this said, here are some of the "clunkers" that I tried to listen to within the last few weeks.

Swamplandia by Karen Russell
The narrator was flat. The story was boring and did not go anywhere. And alligators scare me.
Enough said.

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Unfortunately, for how interesting in sounded in description, it was a bit too disjointed to listen to. Because it was a story of a group of women, there was no real character connection for me. It was all told in a more generic sense. "We did this" "We did that" I just didn't feel it.

The Tiger's Wife by Tea' Obreht
I liked this but I don't think it came at the right time for me. It was a bit too involved and I was looking for a lighter fare. Perhaps I may save this one to read. My book club may want to pick this one up.

Not too many, I guess but it felt like a lot of my time was spent trying to find my interesting next pick. I think I found it though in Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Any thoughts from any audio book listeners out there?

Happy Reading (or listening) and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Year of Mysterious Giveaways: March 2012

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J Rose

I've only read M.J. Rose's novels, not her mystery/thrillers. These all sound fascinating. I had a chance to meet her last year at BEA and get a signed copy of The Hypnotist.

I've seen this book circulating around the blogosphere and have read some wonderfully passionate reviews. I am happy to have an extra ARC of this to give away to one of you.

Here's the description from Goodreads:

A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra—and lost for 2,000 years.

Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances—and of her mother’s suicide—she moves to America, leaving the company in the hands of her brother Robbie. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing—leaving a dead body in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.

Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac discovers a secret the House of L’Etoile has been hiding since 1799: a scent that unlocks the mysteries of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

Contest Rules:
* Contest Runs from March 7- April 4
* Please leave an email address
* Please reside in the United States
* Please be a follower

Thank you!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

The Year of Mysterious Giveaways: February Winner

Thanks to all for entering my latest Mysterious Giveaway.

The winner of Defending Jacob by William Landay is...


"This book sounds very exciting and I bet reading it would put me right on the edge of my seat! I like that you got to meet the author- how cool.

I am a GFC follower: Jess/Fairday Morrow

email: haightjess at gmail dot com

I am looking forward to checking out his site!"

I will be sending out January, February and March's winner at the same time so it will be a little bit before you all get your packages. Thanks for the patience!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pistol Annies

I don't normally post music on my blog but sometimes I just have to share! I am a huge fan of country music. I grew up on it. Love it. Love it. Love it. I mostly listen to old country but have always had a few newer artists that I have followed. Miranda Lambert is one of those newer artists I think rocks! Her new trio Pistol Annies is also on my top of favs to listen to. The other two ladies in this band are amazing vocalists and the album does not have one song that I don't like. The song "Lemon Drop" makes me smile and I've been listening to it non stop.
Click on the title of the song for a listen. Check out their website too!

Pistol Annies "Lemon Drop"

"My muffler's tied on with a guitar string
I owe 7,000 dollars to a bank machine
Before this car is ever really mine
And some fine day I'll drive her downtown
Get a burger, fries and a royal crown
Thankin' God that I'll never
Have to pay another dime

My life is like a lemon drop
I'm suckin' on the bitter to get to the sweet part
I know there are better days ahead

I got dirty shirts and worn out jeans
I owe two dozen quarters to a washin' machine
Before these clothes will ever really shine
But I got me a man, that just don't care
If his little darlin's got underware
I know someday I'm gonna be his wife

My life is like a lemon drop
I'm suckin' on the bitter to get to the sweet part
I know there are better days ahead

I got thrift store curtains in the windows of my home
I'm payin' for a house that the landlord owns
Bought a TV on a credit card
It'll take me ten years to pay if off
But some fine day I'll be drinkin' a beer
In a big backyard I own free and clear
All I know, there's better days ahead

So I play my hopes and play my dreams
Just like two coins in a slot machine
Sing "Glory, Hallelujah" if everything works out fine

My life is like a lemon drop
I'm suckin' on the bitter to get to the sweet part
I know there are better days ahead

Lord I know there are better days ahead
Thank God"

Happy Listening and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child